I'm a bit skeptical about whether Warrant's terrible room of clocks, if put in practice in the real world, would work as demonstrated. Then again, maybe it only works on Dev Anand because he's so old. All of those clocks could simply be reminding him that Wheel of Fortune is coming on in five minutes and that he's going to miss it because he's locked up in Ajit's basement.
Dev becomes the subject of this particular torment when he falls into the hands of Ajit's character The Master and his rollerskating right hand woman Saloni. What do they want? Information! And obviously the lengths they will go to get it are limited only by their imaginations -- which, admittedly, are fairly limited. First, Dev is fastened to a chair and doused with some cold water, and when that doesn't break him, The Master orders Saloni to "enmesh" him in her "web of love", which turns out to be far less interesting than it sounds.
Finally it's determined that only the room of clocks can crack a tough customer like Dev. After fitting his victim with a pair of earphones, The Master holds forth about his "latest scientific invention", telling Dev that, once started, the ticking of the room's many clocks will become gradually louder, within just sixty seconds reaching the point where his "eardrums will burst" and his "brain nerves will break". All of this suggested to me that The Master doesn't really have a firm grasp of the nature of scientific invention. What exactly is he claiming to have invented? Clocks? The idea of sound amplification?
Once things have been set in motion, The Master and Saloni, in true Bollywood villain fashion, retire to a more comfortable part of their underground lair to drink highballs.
Meanwhile, Dev tries desperately to drag his chair over to the control panel so that he can shut the device off. But it's too late! The torture has begun!
...and it's not very long at all before we see Dev succumbing to its effects.
You'll also notice that each of the clocks is set to a randomly different time. They don't even perform the normal clock function of telling you what time it is, which just makes the room of clocks that much more evil.
Ultimately Dev is able to free himself from the room of clocks with the help of a special wristwatch loaded with secret gimmicks that we didn't previously know he had. Why he had this watch is unclear, given that his character is just a jailer and not a secret agent or an international master criminal, but it's certainly a stroke of luck that he did. He then makes his escape from The Master's lair by stealing Saloni's roller skates and performing lots of obviously stunt-doubled backflips.
The terrible room of clocks exists on the opposite end of the death trap spectrum from the one in Main Balwaan in that, while obviously a lot of thought went into Main Balwaan's death trap, Warrant's was just as obviously made up on the spot -- influenced, no doubt, by the large number of clocks that could be found in the prop department. Still, this does not take away the fact that it is every bit as weird as the Main Balwaan death trap, and every bit as deserving of its place here. Terrible room of clocks, Masala Death Trap! salutes you!
Past Misdeeds: Kokkuri-san (1997) - *Through the transformation of the glorious WTF-Films into the even more glorious **Exploder Button** and the ensuing server changes, some of my old column...
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